Besh Cup JOQ #5
The weather gods smiled on Birch Hill Saturday, February 7, for the fifth of six Besh Cup Junior Olympic Qualifying races. The race was relocated from the Salcha Ski Trails to the Jim Whisenhant Ski Trails at Birch Hill. More than 160 skiers competed in the races under bright sun at temperatures of approximately +2F to +3F.
Fairbanksan David Norris (OJ)J of the FAST team was the winner for the day. Starting next-to-last in the J1-OJ-SR-MA men’s 10K field, he skied away from the only skier to start behind him, teammate Reese Hanneman (2nd OJ), and passed most of his closest competitors with the exception of runner-up Dylan Watts (1st SR), and APUNSC coach. THe men skied two laps of the 5Km “Three Hills” course used for the women’s 5Km. The same course will be used for the Girls Classic 5Km in the ASAA Championships later this month.
After Norris and Watts, Reese Hanneman was third, 2008 NCAA Champion Marius Korthauer (2nd SR) was fourth, and Alaska Nanook Erik Soderstroem (3rd SR)was fifth. Bobby Miller and Erin Phillips of APU were 6th and 7th overall and 3rd and 4th among OJ’s.
Team FAST skier Werner Hoefler was 1st among J1’s (5th in the combined J1/OJ class for scoring JOQ points). Other top local skiers were Jordan Buetow (FXC, 9th J1/OJ, 12th overall), Wyatt Mayo (FAST, 14th J1/OJ and 17th overall) and Kelsey Boyer (FXC, 15th J1/OJ and 18th overall).
UAF redshirt Aurelia Korthauer put 19 seconds on her closest competitor despite complaining after the race of sore legs from doing intervals on a treadmill. APUNSC’s Kate Fitzgerald was 2nd overall
Karina Packer (AWS), Kinsey Loan (ANR) and Marisa Rorabaugh (FXC, Fairbanks) were the top three juniors (all are J1’s). It was Rorabaugh’s best Besh Cup performance of the season. Erika Klaar was first among OJ’s, fourth among all juniors, and 6th overall.
Among local skiers, UAF Assistant Coach Ingrid Olson was 10th overall and third among seniors, Rebecca Konieczny (Alaska Nanooks) was 13th overall and 8th in the J1/OJ group, Hannah Boyer (FXC) was 5th J2 and 17th overall, Heather Edic (FXC) was 10th in the J1/OJ class and 18th overall and Wendy Boger (WVHS) was 13th in J1/OJ and 24th overall.
In the 1Km race, Fairbanks’ Jenna DiFolco (FJC) won the J5 girls, Ethan Hamlin won the J6 boys, and Amber Hajdukovich won the J6 girls.
At 2Km it was Kiana Hamlin (FJC) 1st in J4 girls, Jane Hoefler (APU) in J3 girls, Tracen Knopp (ANR) first in J4 boys and Jack Parke (APU) first in J3 boys.
Annie Liotta was the 5Km winner among J2 girls. After Hannah Boyer’s fifth, the next Fairbanks skiers were Eliza Rorabaugh, Elizabeth Whisenhant, Mikayla Hamlin and Maddie Button in places 12-13-15 and 20.
Logan Hanneman (FAST) won the J2 boys 5Km by more than half a minute, and was one of three Fairbanks skiers in the top 6, with Robert Hovda (FAST) 5th and Pat Nugent (FXC) 6th. Vanya Rybkin was 10th, Stefan Hajdukovich (FXC) was 14th and Kipp Wilkinson (FXC) 16th.
Roger Sayre was the only other local winner, taking first place in the Masters 5 class by three-and-a-half minutes. Anchorage area master skiers Mark Larsen (M4) and Gunnar Knapp (M6) and Sheryl Loan (M4) won their respective classes, as did Salcha’s Jamie Johnson in the M1 class.
Besh Cup #6
Marius Korthauer won the men’s 10Km but younger sister Aurelia failed in her bid to duplicate the feat as Kate Fitzgerald of APU overtook Korthauer on the Tower Direct climb and skied to a clear victory. As they returned to the stadium on White Bear and approached the finish, Eiben was making a move to catch Korthauer, but it wasn’t enough, as a visibly drained Korthauer held on for a second-place finish to go with her win on Saturday.
Fitzgerald used a big move to catch and then drop Korthauer, who had led for the first 7 Km. Korthauer led out of the gate, with Fitzgerald and APU teammate Ky Eiben skiing about 10-15 seconds back as they completed the first lap. As the skiers finished up the Blue Loop, descended the ramp headed up the East Ramp on the Tower ascent, Korthauer appeared to be slowing a bit, and Fitzgerald and Eiben had begun to nibble away at Korthauer’s lead.
At the bottom of the Tower it was Fitzgerald who appeared first, with Korthauer right behind, but Eiben had not been able to bridge the gap with Fitzgerald. After re-entering the stadium, the course took the skiers down to the Biathlon Range and back. Fitzgerald used this loop to build a sizable lead on Korthauer. At the finish Fitzgerald had a 29 second lead over second, and 32 seconds over third.
ANR skiers Kaily Mucha and Alyson McPhetres came in about a minute later, then it was another minute back to agroup of five skiers that included Sara Tegeler (UAA), Christina Knapp (East Anc HS), Rebecca Mamrol (AWS), Morgan Bender (ANR) and Heather Edic (FXC).
In the men’s race, eventual winner Marius Korthauer and team FAST skiers David Norris and Reese Hanneman pulled away to an early lead. Korthauer and Norris dropped Hanneman decisively on the Black Funk climb but skied together around the Blue Loop. At the entrance to the Tower Direct, about a third of the way up the Tower Climb Norris and Korthauer were still skiing together. At that point, or shortly thereafter, Korthauer turned on the jets, as he had a huge lead on Norris at the exit from the Tower.
Those three skiers remained in the top three places at the finish, with Norris 24 seconds back and Hanneman a further 16 seconds behind. APU teammates Erin Phillips and Bobby Miller skied together most of the race to take 4th and 5th. Aaron Fletcher (South Anc HS) was a clear 6th, but at the finish was getting reeled in rapidly by a six-man group consisting of Lars Arneson (ANR), Jordan Buetow (FXC), Kelsey Boyer (FXC), James Crimp (AWS), David Besh (AWS) and Donald Haering (APU). From Arneson to Haering was 4.2 seconds.
Logan Hanneman (FAST) walked away from the J2/J3 Boys 5K field, winning easily by 17 seconds over Travis Semmens (ANR). Forrest Mahlen rounded out the J2 podium. Jack Parke (APU) was tops in the J3 field over Alex Loan (ANR) and Tanner Ramey (APU).
Celia Haering of APU won a group finish in the J2 Girls 5K by 1.5 seconds over Kryston McPhetres (ANR), Maranda Merkes (Soldotna HS), Bree Mucha (ANR) and Hannah Boyer (FXC). APU’s Jane Hoefler won the J3 Girls class by two minutes over Jade Hajdukovich (FXC) with Erica Barnhart (APU) third. Hoefler was a repeat winner from Saturday.
Other class winners: J6 Boys – Ethan Hamlin, Weller; J6 Girls – Amber Hajdukovich, Salcha; J5 Girls – Jenna DiFolco; J4 Boys – Max Donaldson (FXC) with Joe Bue (FXC) second; J4 Girls – Kiana Hamlin (FJC)
Full results for both races can be found at http://www.crosscountryalaska.org/site/
For a firsthand account visit http://blogs.fasterskier.com/fast
27th Annual Pre-Birkie
Over 800 skiers participated in the 27th annual pre-Birkie, held on a portion of the American Birkebeiner course. Sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 30’s made for a perfect day.
John Kallemeyn skied to a 16 second win over Matt Zak in the men’s 42km race. Denis Kotcon was third. Paulette Niemi won the women’s 42km by two minutes over Angela Palomaki. Patti Harvieux was third.
Rod Raymond won the 26km race in convincing fashion over Ryan Ping and Brian Bich. Kelly Skillicorn won the women’s 26km Jena Ogston and Joan Rundman rounding out the podium.
Thanks to John Wilke, www.DoublePole-Pix.com for the photos!